Once upon a time, delivering criticism to friends was done in private or at least with a warning that a public statement was coming. President Obama and Secretary Clinton do not, to appearances, buy into that particular formula.
The Administration has, of late, stamped their feet and held their breath regarding a housing development expansion in Jerusalem. The fact that this particular piece of land has never been considered by either party to be anything other than a part of Israel bears no consideration. Even Mr. Abbas did not consider it to be a part of his view of a Palestinian entitlement.
Each and every time the U.S. takes a public stand against Israel Palestinians dig in, walk away from the table, create a new set of demands or establish threshold standards for “peace talks” that they know well cannot or will not be met. Why not? As long as the U.S. and the E.U. clears the road for Palestinian demands motivation for the Palestinians to step up to their responsibility disappears.
While the theatrical stamping of feet and holding of breath over Israel goes on, behavior on the other side of the issues goes begging.
The Iranian President has had a series of meetings with Syria, Hiz’bAllah and Hamas; reportedly to organize retaliatory strikes against or plan military engagement of Israel from Lebanon. There is no theater of the diplomatic regarding frequent and ongoing reports of significant Iranian military support for Hamas and Hiz’bAllah.
Syria has, not so very politely, told the U.S. to put their advice where the sun doesn’t shine in relation to a U.S. desire to see Syria move away from their Iranian alliance. The fact that, technically, Syria still maintains a formal state of war relative to Israel is also not up for discussion. Of no public concern is Syria’s pronouncement that it is preparing for war with Israel. This same manner of statement comes from Hiz’bAllah.. Iranian and Syrian weapons and training flow to Hamas and Hiz’bAllah unabated. Nope, it’s the housing development expansion that’s the real crisis!
The Hamas and Hiz’bAllah charters still call for the destruction of Israel. Rhetorical calls for Israel’s elimination continue. Reports of elite units being developed by Hiz’bAllah are of no apparent consequence. It’s the housing development.
Pressuring Israel over a non-existent peace process is chimera. The facts on the ground are that Palestinians are divided. There is no sign that Fatah and Hamas are going to be dancing together anytime soon. Even in the event that we engage yet another failed peace process with whom on the Palestinian side can make a deal?
The inconvenient fact, going back to Jimmy Carter, is that Palestinian factions and their pay masters have insured that no peace process would occur; scuttled at every turn by terrorism or incredible demands. For many the mere presence of Israel is “an invasion of Muslim lands” calling for collective defense and Jihad. The Palestinians remain the ultimate stalking horse for the Arab world deflecting attention from the despotic nature of Arab regimes. “Hey, we can’t do anything here until we resolve the Palestinian Question”, and the question is never resolved.
Quick: name one new publically stated demand made of the Palestinians by the U.S or the International Community.? Give up? Simple answer; not one in recent memory!
The facts are that each and every Israeli concession has been met with nothing more than yet another set of ever creeping demands. There have been no Palestinian concessions of any material benefit to the “peace process”, not one.
Yea, it’s about a housing development!